Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has been disqualified by the Football League after failing its owners’ and directors’ test on the day he sacked Uwe Rosler and appointed Steve Evans.
The Italian, who dispensed of his fifth manager of his tumultuous tenure at Elland Road earlier on Monday, has been punished after invoking a disqualifying condition over a tax conviction in his native country.
The Football League confirmed the news in a statement on their website, where they said the breach of the Owners’ and Directors’ test was due to a court case in Sardinia that related the non-payment of VAT on the importation of a Land Rover.
He was fined €40,000 by the court following the case in June.
The Italian was previously disqualified by the Football League in December 2014 and was banned from the club until the end of the 2014-15 season following an unsuccessful appeal.
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A Football League statement read: “At its recent meeting, the board of the Football League considered the position of Leeds United president, Massimo Cellino, under its Owners’ and Directors’ test.
“In June, Mr Cellino was found guilty by a court in Sardinia of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to the non-payment of VAT on the importation of a Land Rover vehicle. This resulted in a fine of E40,000 and the confiscation of the vehicle in question.
“Having considered detailed legal advice and the court’s reasoned judgment, as supplied by Mr Cellino, the board determined that the decision of the Italian court constitutes a disqualifying condition under the Owners’ and Directors’ test.
“Mr Cellino has until October 28 to appeal against the board’s decision. Any such appeal would be heard by an independent panel.”
The announcement came just minutes after the club formally appointed former Rotherham boss Evans on a rolling contract until June 30.
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